Punjab Irrigation department has reopened its upper Punjab irrigation canals and is likely to reopen the remaining closed canals of the province by 31st January, Canal Regulator M H Siddiqui told Business Recorder on Monday. He said that provincial irrigation department had started closing its irrigation canals for the annual month long canal desilting campaign on 26th December in which 482 irrigation canals had to be desilted for improving water flow.
He said 117-million-cubic-foot of silt from 2,618 canal miles were to be removed during this campaign. He said the irrigation canals emanating from river Chanab have been reopened after desilting and the canals taking off from Mangla Dam on river Jhelum would be reopened on Wednesday when downstream water discharge from Mangla dam would be increased from 10,000 cusecs to 15,000 cusecs.
Siddiqui said that all canals in the central and southern Punjab would be opened early next month when Punjab would be drawing sufficient water from the Indus Zone and 23,000 cusecs from the Mangla Zone to provide vital watering to the Rabi crops including wheat, grams, oil seeds, vegetables, fodder etc.
According to 28 January rivers flows and reservoirs level report of Wapda, Indus River System Authority is releasing 57,000 cusecs water into the sprawling irrigation network across the country to irrigate the winter crops. It is discharging 32,000 cusecs water from the Tarbela Dam, 10,300 cusecs run of the river Kabul water, 10,000 cusecs water downstream the Mangla Dam and 6,100 cusecs run of the river Chenab water.
According to the report, Sindh province is getting 37,000 cusecs water at Guddu barrage 36,500 cusecs at Sukkur Barrage and 13,520 cusecs water at the Kotri barrage Sindh Irrigation has stopped releasing any water downstream the Kotri barrage into the Indus delta, the report added. The report said 3.16 MAF water is still available in the Tarbela and Mangla dams besides run of the rivers water for maturing Rabi crops till 31st March 2013.